february 1958

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On this day in music history: February 19, 1958 - “Got A Job”, the debut single by The Miracles is released. Written by Berry Gordy, William “Smokey” Robinson and Tyran Carlo, it is the first release for the legendary R&B vocal quintet from Detroit, MI. Originally formed in 1955 as The Five Chimes, childhood friends William “Smokey” Robinson, Warren “Pete” Moore, Ronald White have been singing together since they were eleven years old. The original line up also includes Clarence Dawson and James Grice, who both eventually drop out of the group within a year. They are replaced by Emerson “Sonny” Rogers and his cousin Bobby Rogers, with the group changing their name to The Matadors. By 1957, Sonny drops out to enlist in the Army and is replaced by his sister Claudette who also becomes Smokey’s girlfriend (and later wife). The same year, The Matadors audition for Alonzo Tucker and Nat Tarnopol, co-managers of singer Jackie Wilson, after Ronnie White hears that they are in Detroit scouting talent for Brunswick Records. Tucker and Tarnopol turn down the group, feeling that they are too similar in style and configuration to The Platters. In spite of the rejection, luck ends up being on The Matadors side. Also present at the audition is a young Detroit songwriter named Berry Gordy, Jr, who is impressed with the group and Smokey’s already considerable portfolio of songs. Berry and Smokey become fast friends, and Gordy makes plans to record them. Throwing around song ideas with Smokey, and his friend and songwriting partner Roquel “Billy” Davis (aka “Tyran Carlo), they hit upon the idea of writing an answer song to The Silhouettes current hit "Get A Job”. The trio write “Got A Job” for the groups first recorded effort. The song along with its B-side “My Mama Done Told Me” are recorded at United Sound Studios in Detroit in January of 1958. After cutting the song, Gordy makes a deal with George Goldner, the head of End Records in New York to release the single. Before its released, the group change their name to The Miracles. Issued on Smokey’s eighteenth birthday, “Got A Job” becomes a local hit in Detroit, but when it does not receive airplay support anywhere else, the record fails to make the national charts. Adding insult to injury, Berry Gordy receives a royalty check from End Records for only $3.19 for his first effort as a producer. This failure becomes the catalyst for Gordy to move from being only a songwriter, to an entrepreneur when Smokey suggests to Berry that he forms his own label. Gordy will does that less than a year later when he starts Motown Records in January of 1959. “Got A Job” later surfaces on The Miracles compilation album “Greatest Hits From The Beginning” in 1965, after Gordy purchases the masters back from End Records.

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Keith Haring (May 4, 1958 – February 16, 1990)

“See, when I paint, it is an experience that, at its best, is transcending reality. When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, of the total consciousness, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.”

Tank in front of Fa'iq Hassan’s mural “Peace”, following the February coup, al-Tayaran Square, Baghdad, 1963

دبابة أمام جدارية فائق حسن “السلام"، بعد إنقلاب شباط، ساحة الطيران، بغداد، ١٩٦٣

Ruth Carol Taylor (born December 27, 1931) was the first African-American flight attendant in the United States.

Born in Boston, into a family of black, white, and Cherokee heritage, Taylor attended Elmira College and graduated as a registered nurse from the Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City.

Hired in December 1957,[4] on February 11, 1958, Taylor was the flight attendant on a Mohawk Airlines flight from Ithaca to New York, the first time such a position had been held by an African American.She was let go within six months as a result of Mohawk’s then-common marriage ban.

Taylor was later significantly involved in covering the 1963 March on Washington and as an activist for consumer affairs and women’s rights.

In 2008, fifty years after her historic flight, her accomplishments were formally recognized by the New York State Assembly.

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Original and final cover art by Arnold Roth from Humbug #7, published February 1958. Also included is a color overlay drawn by Harvey Kurtzman and the original 1912 classic painting by Paul Chabas, September Morn, on which the cover was based. The addition of Russian spy satellites was a parody in response to the launching of Sputnik in October 1957. 

The world of football pauses, pushing their rivalries and grudges aside for today to remember the victims of the Munich Air Disaster. Such a devastating tragedy. Fifty nine years ago today on the 6th February 1958, in Munich, a horrific plane crash claimed the lives of twenty three people, including eight Manchester United players along with staff, journalists, other passengers and crew members. The world, not just the country were affected and moved on that dreadful day. Together we mourn as one. Rest in peace. You’ll never be forgotten. 

Frontier Gentleman premiered on February 2, 1958. The short-lived Western starred John Dehner as J.B. Kendall, a British newspaper reporter who traveled the west in search of stories to send home. Along the way, he met Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, and Jesse James; he fell for a beautiful Confederate spy; and he narrowly escaped death at the battle of Little Big Horn. Kendall’s dispatches ranged from the comedic to the tragic, with colorful characters and exciting adventures at every step of his journey.

The series was one of radio’s last great adult westerns, anchored by Dehner’s commanding lead performance and with scripts by creator/director Antony Ellis. It’s a standout of both the genre and the era of old time radio.

In honor of the anniversary, I’ll post some episodes of Frontier Gentleman. For more from the Golden Age of Radio, click here to subscribe to the “Down These Mean Streets” podcast in iTunes.

On February 9th 1958 Scottish Golfer Sandy Lyle was born.


Born Shrewsbury, England but considered Scottish, Lyle was one of  Europe’s top golfers during the 1980s. He is one of the golfers credited with breaking American domination of golf on the world stage.

Lyle was introduced to golf as soon as he would walk. His father, Alex, was a teaching professional at Hawkstone Park GC and had his son playing with miniature clubs from the age of 3. Lyle had an outstanding amateur career culminating in victory in the English Amateur Stroke Play championship in 1975 and 1977. He also served on the Walker Cup squad twice. 

He turned professional in 1977 and was nominated Rookie of the Year in his first full season a year later. His first professional victory was the 1978 Nigerian Open. As a player, Lyle is renowned for his cool temperament and focus. However, his form is not always consistent and tends to play either exceptionally well or exceptionally bad. 

Lyle won his first Major, the Open, in 1985. Perhaps the highlight of his career was victory in the 1988 US Masters. He was the first non-American to win the event, a victory made sweeter because of the intense competition between America and Europe in all aspects of golf. Lyle has also played on 5 Ryder Cup squads and represented Scotland 3 times in the World Cup. 

On a personal level, Lyle has an amiable character and is modest despite his success and stardom. He enjoys Chinese food and is somewhat of an expert. He is also a keen enthusiastic of motorbike scrambling. In 1989, Lyle’s form began to slump. His last victory was the Volvo Masters in 1992 and since then has quietly retired from the main tour. 

On turning 50 in 2008 he played on the Champions Tour and the European Senior Tour winning his first tournament in 19 years when he captured his first European Senior Tour title at the 2011 ISPS Handa Senior World Championship, held in China.
Sandy was inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame in May 2012, he now lives in Scotland with his wife Jolande and children Lonneke and Quintin